The decision is in and Led Zeppelin has prevailed in a plagiarism trial in which the legendary rock band was accused of stealing part of its megahit “Stairway to Heaven.” Rolling Stone reports that the Los Angeles jury ruled against the estate of the late Randy Wolfe, who played guitar in Spirit and was better known as Randy California.
The plaintiffs had alleged that parts of “Stairway to Heaven” were lifted from Spirit’s “Taurus,” which you can hear below.
Led Zep members Jimmy Page and Robert Plant issued a statement after the ruling saying: “We are grateful for the jury’s conscientious service and pleased that it has ruled in our favor, putting to rest questions about the origins of ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and confirming what we have known for 45 years. We appreciate our fans’ support and look forward to putting this legal matter behind us.”
The band’s record label also released a statement, saying: “At Warner Music Group, supporting our artists and protecting their creative freedom is paramount. We are pleased that the jury found in favor of Led Zeppelin, reaffirming the true origins of ‘Stairway to Heaven.’ Led Zeppelin is one of the greatest bands in history, and Jimmy Page and Robert Plant are peerless songwriters who created many of rock’s most influential and enduring songs.”
Here’s an audio recording of “Taurus” …